As the 2021 season approaches, we continue our look at all 30 MLB teams with the Oakland Athletics. And on this piece, we examine The State of the Oakland A’s.
Khris Davis for Elvis Andrus
The Oakland A’s would make a major but surprising move to trade away the slugging outfielder Khris Davis for shortstop Elvis Andrus. This was a surprising move as it felt like both teams were moving on from bad contracts. But simply trading bad contracts doesn’t make it a good move. But this move did fill a need as the A’s would let Marcus Semien go to the Toronto Blue Jays. Elvis Andries may not be the player he was once thought to be, but he is a capable shortstop for a solid team.
Resign Mike Fiers
The Oakland Athletics starting staff have a few pitchers of intrigue. And while Mike Fiers’ may not be one of those intriguing names, he’s a valuable asset for the A’s. The Athletics will need a veteran pitcher like Fiers to help guide and serve as a mentor of sorts for the young A’s starting rotation, and he will play a big role in their development.
Petit, Romo, and Rosenthal
The Oakland A’s made some very underrated moves bring in Trevor Rosenthal and Sergio Romo. While also retaining their very own Yusmeiro Petit. Having these three relievers while also boosting some young and up-an-coming arms should tremendously serve the Athletics. But more on the bullpen further on in the article.
Signing Mitch Moreland
Another move made by the Oakland Athletics was signing veteran first baseman Mitch Moreland. Moreland was an excellent signing; in my opinion, Mitch Moreland is a very good defender at first base and an above-average hitter. Plus, add-in that this deal didn’t cost very much money to happen, which sweetens the pot even more for Oakland Athletics.
State of the Rotation
The Oakland A’s rotation is going to have questions asked about its potential and ability. But there are bright spots pitchers who could take the next level in their development. Pitchers like Jesus Luzardo and Sean Manaea are going to be the aces of the staff. Bringing back Mike Fiers adds another solid arm in the rotation as well as someone who can eat innings for the Athletics. And add in Chris Bassitt, who had a phenomenal 2020 campaign with an ERA+ of 181. And the A’s rotation should be good enough to handle the AL West.
State of the Bullpen
Oakland’s bullpen would suffer two losses in the form of Liam Hendriks and Joakim Soria. But that would only serve as motivation for the Athletics to secure a new and arguably stronger bullpen. The Oakland Athletics have brought in Trevor Rosenthal and Sergio Romo and brought back Yusmeiro Petit. Adding these relievers adds a level of depth to the bullpen for the A’s that otherwise would have been lacking. These were important moves to keep Oakland atop the American League West.
State of the Defense
The Oakland Athletics defense is difficult to quantify. Parts of the A’s defense is extremely strong. Players like the Matts’ (Chapman & Olson) and Ramon Laureano are some of the premium defenders at their position. However, outside of them, the defense is less than desirable. If the A’s are going to be able to repeat as the AL West division champs, they will need to catch the ball. Improving the defense should be a priority in Spring Training because that will help them recapture the division.
State of the Offense
The Oakland Athletics offense is an interesting case study for the 2021 season. There are definite highlights in Matt Olson, Matt Chapman (when healthy), Ramon Laureano, and Mark Canha. But there are also questions about it. What can be reasonably expected from Elvis Andrus at this stage of his career? Who will emerge from the second base and corner outfield battles? Can Matt Olson & Matt Chapman stay healthy and productive? These are valid questions that will need to be answered for the A’s to repeat as AL West Champs.
State of the Franchise
The Oakland Athletics are in a primer position to maintain their claim in the AL West crown. However, the competition will be intense. Both the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim should be bigger threats to the A’s. But the Athletics have many of the pieces in place to make it back to the top of the AL West.